I love winter, I really do. I love snow and I love cold. I love the feeling of walking inside after shoveling or after a long cold walk. I love scarves and hats and coats. I love stews and heavy bread. I love root vegetables and apples. But you know what I miss during the winter? Berries, beautiful, fresh, sweet berries.
Before Nick and I went to Europe this fall I got a collection of eastern European fairy tales from the library called Stories of Hope and Spirit: Folktales from Eastern Europe. It was an incredible collection with stories that formed beautiful and deadly images in your mind. The story that made the most lasting impression on me was called “Strawberries in Winter.” It is a tale about a beautiful young woman and her evil step-mother and step-sister. They are cruel to her, as is the way in fairy tales, and make absurd demands of her. They send her on errands into the cold winter nights that they think she will die trying to complete. Yet she always finds a way to fulfill their desires and in the end the cruel women die because of their malcontent. I won’t ruin how this happens because I want you to buy or check out the collection for yourself. The book can be found here. It is worth the money or the wait to get it from the library.
Earlier this week we had a big storm that dropped quite a bit of snow and it reminded me of this story. I know I could go to the store and get berries in the winter, but they wouldn’t taste right. None of the berries would. I was even dreaming about berries the night before the storm. In the dream I was searching for ice cream. When I found some it was topped with fresh blackberries and it was so refreshing. This, I should mention, is an anomaly because my dreams are usually more like nightmares, so it was pleasant to have a rest from that for a night.
I know it is only December, but it is nice to have something to look forward to.